Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Rave Run

When: January 21, 2011
Where: Little Blue Trace Trail

Today I had the toughest run I think I ever had, but it was probably the most fun and peaceful. It was 15.5 miles on an easy trail, the catch, it was covered with about a foot of snow. Needless to say my pace really suffered, but I didn't care. The beauty of the scenery just took all my worries away. I did run with my mp3 player, but I had it turned so low that when the birds sang/chirped I wouldn't hear the music.

The crunch of the snow underfoot, sun lightly covered by clouds, bald eagles and red-tailed hawks and flocks of Canada geese flying around just made the run even better.

Once I reached mile 5, there were no more footprints in the snow. I couldn't tell where the trail was and learned a valuable lesson; when a trail is hidden by snow, it's not always best to follow rabbit tracks. :)

My knee made it the whole way without complaining, but my hamstrings and quads started whispering by mile 10. By mile 13, they were definitely getting my attention.

I ended up getting my second wind when one of my guilty pleasure songs came on, "Word Up" by Cameo. This version is better though.

After that song my pace picked up again. The remaining 2.5 miles went by quickly and before I knew it I was back at my Jeep.

Now as promised, the pics:

Mile 1:

Start of the trail. It's obvious the sidewalk was cleaned once.

Scenery off to the right of the trail.

Heading into some tree cover.

Fallen trees across the river.

Mile 2:

The picture doesn't capture, but I love the look of the tree in the foreground.

Mile 3:

Scenery to the left of the trail.

Mile 4:

The river to the right of the trail.

Mile 5:

Showing the depth of the snow.

Mile 6:

Bald eagles

Mile 7:

Mile 8:

Mile 9:

Mile 10:

Mile 11:

Mile 14:

Shoes back at the Jeep.

I hope nobody minded all the pictures.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Psychodelic 5K, Ice Version - RR

What: Psychodelic 5K, Ice Version
When: January 16, 2011 @ 9:00a.m.
Where: Wyandotte County Lake Park
Why: A lot of FUN
Weather: cloudy and 16F
Finish Time: just under 34:00

This event was put on by the Kansas City Trail Nerds. For pre-registering for the race I received a mug:

After picking up my bib and mug, I headed back to my Jeep to stay warm:

I had about an hour to kill before the race started so I decided to spend 30 minutes keeping warm and then 30 minutes walking around outside to get the muscles moving.

About 15 minutes before the race I put on a pair of Yaktrax XTRs for traction and walked around taking general pictures:

Looking off to the side of the course.

Looking through the finish chute. It was an out and back course so we ran through it shortly after the start.

Trail Nerds and Mud Babes flag near the shelter.

The race started and we were on our way.

I started way too far back, but decided it wasn't a bad thing since it gave me time to warm-up and ease my knee into the race.

Eventually there was too much walking going on so I started looking to pass.

The lady in the pink getting ready to go down the hill was being very cautious so as soon as I made it down the hill I sped up to pass her.

There were a lot of loose rocks and roots hidden under the snow, but somehow I managed to avoid them all. I knew this was going to be a slow race overall since there is about 1,200 feet of elevation change throughout the race. This is also part of the course for the 50K I'm registered for next month.

A gentle incline

Nice downhill that we'd have to run up on the way back.

Another gentle incline

heading downhill

Getting ready to pass

Next runner to catch.

Downhill heading to the turnaround point.

Ran around the field to head back

Heading up

The ascension begins.

It's a walkin time

Getting ready to pass in the snow on the right.

Pass completed

Uphill time again

Time to pass soon

Final photo.

I had 1 person pass me after the turnaround, but passed about 20 myself. It was a blast. I made the last pass up a final uphill by running in the deeper snow on the left of the trail. I managed a kick to the finish and didn't even notice the clock while crossing the finish line.

Some people may be wondering how the Yaktrax XTR fared, good and bad. I had great traction, but noticed at about the halfway point that a chain connecting the spikes had busted on both feet. My right foot had the rear left chain holding down the heel come apart, while my left foot had a middle chain holding down the front spikes come apart.

For being labeled as "extreme," construction is poor. This was my first time running in them. What happened is that the links are just clamped shut and came apart during a downhill section. Very poor design and I'm not happy that they broke about halfway through a 5K on their first outing.

The race was a blast though and I'll update with official pics as soon as they're posted.

I hope you enjoyed the pics.